The 2200-meter or 136 kHz band is the lowest frequency band in which amateur radio operators are licensed to transmit. It was formally allocated to amateurs at the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07). The band is available on a secondary basis in all ITU regions with the limitation that amateur stations have maximum radiated power of 1 watt effective isotropic radiated power.
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The International Telecommunication Union's 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) in Geneva agreed a secondary allocation of 135.7–137.8 kHz to the Amateur Service on Friday 9 November 2007. Prior to the ITU formal allocation some countries did have access or predecessors. For example, in the UK, operation on the even lower frequency of 73 kHz had been allowed from 1996 until 2003. A small number of countries also have limited license-exempt use (LowFER).
International frequency allocation
A number of European countries have already allocated the 135.7–137.8 kHz band to amateur radio use based on CEPT / ERC Recommendation 62-01 E ("Use of the band 135.7–137.8 kHz by the Amateur Service", Mainz 1997). The allocation is on a secondary basis, with a maximum ERP of 1 W. Otherwise the band 130–148.5 kHz is allocated on a primary base to the Maritime Mobile Service and the Fixed Service. The main users are naval one-way transmissions and radio-location systems.
Such low frequency transmissions require specialized equipment – usually custom made. In countries where it is allowed, maximum radiated power is usually limited to 1 watt (0 dBW or 30 dBm), but even this can be extremely difficult to achieve from practical equipment and antennas. Reception also poses problems due to considerable natural and man-made noise and interference (QRN and QRM).
Many users and experimenters have settled on extremely slow, computer-generated and displayed Morse code as the most common transmission mode. This mode is known as QRSS, where the doubling of the 'S' emphasises the extreme slowness. (The international Q code QRS means "Please send more slowly", or "slow Morse" in radio jargon.)
The 2005 IARU Region 1 Conference defined the band as follows:
- 135.7–136.0 kHz
- Station Tests and transatlantic reception window
- 136.0–137.4 kHz
- 137.4–137.6 kHz
- Non-Telegraphy digital modes
- 137.6–137.8 kHz
- Very slow telegraphy centred on 137.7 kHz
In a Report and Order dated 27 March 2017, the FCC announced that amateur radio operators holding a General-class license or above would be allowed privileges on the 2200 m band with an ERP of 1 W, in accordance with the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12).
On 15 September 2017 the Federal Communications Commission announced that all of the part 97 Amateur Radio Service rules adopted in WRC-12 / FCC 17–33 would now be in effect. It also reminded users that they needed to coordinate with the UTC out of concern for interference with Power Line Carrier systems.
As specified in 47 CFR 97.313(g)(2), prior to commencement of operations in the 135.7–137.8 kHz (2200 m) and/or 472–479 kHz (630 m) bands, amateur operators must notify the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) of their intent to operate by submitting their call signs, intended band(s) of operation, and the coordinates of their antenna’s fixed location. Amateur stations will be permitted to commence operations after a 30 day period unless UTC notifies the station that its fixed location is within one kilometer of Power Line Carrier (PLC) systems operating on the same or overlapping frequencies. This notification process will ensure that amateur stations seeking to operate in the above noted bands are located beyond a minimum separation distance from PLC transmission lines, which will help ensure the compatibility and coexistence of amateur and PLC operations, and promote shared use of the bands.
Previously, in 1998, the FCC rejected an ARRL petition for LF allocations at 135.7–137.8 kHz and 160–190 kHz. In 2002, indications from the FCC had been that 136 kHz privileges would be authorized soon. On 14 May 2003, however, the FCC declined to grant these privileges citing concerns over potential interference with power line communications (PLC) systems operating unlicensed under Part 15 which are used by electrical utilities to send control through the power grid. But the FCC added that amateurs wishing to experiment with 136 kHz communications may apply for a Part 5 Experimental License  or operate under Part 15 regulations for this part of the electromagnetic spectrum. In the case of Part 15, the field strength measured 300 meters from the antenna may not exceed 2,400 microvolts per meter divided by the frequency in kilohertz, or approximately 17 μV/m.
On 19 November 2012, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  demonstrating intent to authorize the amateur service as a secondary user of the LF band between 135.7–137.8 kHz with a maximum EIRP of 1 watt. The notice seeks to reexamine the 2003 rejection citing the international allocation of the band in all ITU regions by WRC-07 and the lack of use by the primary allocation holders. The notice seeks further comment and empirical evidence regarding interference to PLC systems based on data collected by experimental licenses granted in the United States and by other stations around the world.
Countries in which operation is permitted
Countries with a known band allocation
- ITU Region 2
- ITU Region 3
- Australia: The ACMA included the allocation of 135.7–137.8 kHz as a secondary service to Advanced License amateurs in the Australia RF Spectrum Plan which came into force on 1 January 2009.
- People's Republic of China: The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology included the allocation of 135.7–137.8 kHz as a secondary service for amateur radio in Mainland China, up to 1 W EIRP is permitted. However, no frequency allocation exists in Hong Kong or Macau Amateurs radio operators in Mainland China with Type-B or C privileges can use 135.7–137.8 kHz with 1 W EIRP.
- Taiwan: Following WRC-07, amateur radio is allocated as a secondary service within 135.7–137.8 kHz, up to 1 W EIRP is permitted in Taiwan.
- Japan: Japanese Amateurs can use 135.7-137.8 kHz with 1 W EIRP as of 30 March 2009
- New Zealand: Amateurs are allowed to operate anywhere between 130 kHz and 190 kHz with a radiated power not exceeding 5 watts EIRP
- Philippines: Amateurs are allowed to operate between 135.7–137.8 kHz effective 30 August 2012
Countries with past or current experimental operation
- United States: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permitted licensed amateurs to apply for special Part 5 experimental licenses in the band.
- Amateur radio
- Amateur radio bands
- Low frequency
- List of amateur radio organizations
- List of amateur radio operating modes
- Dodd, Peter (2000). Low frequency experimenter's handbook. Potters bar, UK: Radio Society of Great Britain. ISBN 1-872309-65-8.
- Dennison, M.; Moritz, J. (2007). LF Today: A guide to success on 136 and 500 kHz. Potters bar, UK: Radio Society of Great Britain. ISBN 978-1-905086-36-8.
- "International Amateur Radio Union Region 1" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on 29 December 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "FCC 17-33" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
- "WRC-12 Implementation Report and Order". FCC. 15 September 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- "FCC 47 CFR Part 5 Rules: Experimental Radio Service (other than broadcast)". 2003.
- "FCC ET Docket 12-338".
- "Order, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking FCC-15-50A1" (PDF). Report and Order. Federal Communications Commission. 27 April 2015.
- "Belgian Rules and regulations". Belgian Amateur Radio Society. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- "Journal Officiel de la République Française". 30 June 2010.
- "Décision no 2013-1515" [Decision No. 2013-1515] (PDF) (Press release) (in French). Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes. Réseau des Émetteurs Français. 17 December 2013. pp. 4–5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Government Gazette (Report). Greece. 23 October 2012.
- "Regulament Forma Consolidata Radioamator" (PDF). Romania. p. 23.
- "Post- och telestyrelsens allmänna råd (PTSFS 2019:1) om den svenska frekvensplanen" (PDF). Sweden. 2019. p. 11.
- "Verordnung des BAKOM über Frequenzmanagement und Funkkonzessionen". Switzerland. 2020.
- "Regulation of special radio systems". 18 July 2009.
- "Resolução nº 697, de 28 de agosto de 2018". 28 August 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "136 kHz Report". Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- "[no title cited]". Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
"Australian Amateur Band Plans" (PDF). Wireless Institute of Australia. 6 August 2011. p. 3. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
The following plan is recommended as an interim plan for the 2200 metre band. This plan is based on the unofficial 2200 metre band plan adopted by LF operators in ITU Region I.
- "中华人民共和国无线电频率划分规定" (PDF) (in Chinese). Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. 2018-04-19. p. 28.
- "Operator Type Privileges". Chinese Radio Amateur Club. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- "中華民國無線電頻率分配表" (PDF) (in Chinese). Ministry of Transportation and Communications. 2017. p. 28.
- Alex (R7NT). "History of LF / MF / VLF bands". Russia.
- "Japanese Bandplans" (PDF). Japan Amateur Radio League. 30 March 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 January 2011.
"New Zealand amateur radio bandplans" (PDF). New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters. 2011. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
0.130–0.190 MHz – 1800 metres, radiated power must not exceed 5 W e.i.r.p.
- "Philippine Radio Hams get 7200–7300 kHz". Southgate Amateur Radio Club. 1 September 2012. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
|Range||Band||ITU Region 1||ITU Region 2||ITU Region 3|
|LF||2200 m||135.7–137.8 kHz|
|MF||630 m||472–479 kHz|
|160 m||1.810–1.850 MHz||1.800–2.000 MHz|
|HF||80 / 75 m||3.500–3.800 MHz||3.500–4.000 MHz||3.500–3.900 MHz|
|60 m||5.3515–5.3665 MHz|
Broken into channels and sub-bands, which vary by country.
|40 m||7.000–7.200 MHz||7.000–7.300 MHz||7.000–7.200 MHz|
|30 m[w]||10.100–10.150 MHz|
|20 m||14.000–14.350 MHz|
|17 m[w]||18.068–18.168 MHz|
|15 m||21.000–21.450 MHz|
|12 m[w]||24.890–24.990 MHz|
|10 m||28.000–29.700 MHz|
|VHF||6 m||50.000–52.000 MHz
|4 m[x]||70.000–70.500 MHz||N/A|
|2 m||144.000–146.000 MHz||144.000–148.000 MHz|
|1.25 m||N/A||220.000–225.000 MHz||N/A|
|UHF||70 cm||430.000–440.000 MHz||430.000–440.000 MHz|
|33 cm||N/A||902.000–928.000 MHz||N/A|
|23 cm||1.240–1.300 GHz|
|13 cm||2.300–2.450 GHz|
|SHF||9 cm||3.400–3.475 GHz[y]||3.300–3.500 GHz|
|5 cm||5.650–5.850 GHz||5.650–5.925 GHz||5.650–5.850 GHz|
|3 cm||10.000–10.500 GHz|
|1.2 cm||24.000–24.250 GHz|
|EHF||6 mm||47.000–47.200 GHz|
|4 mm[y]||75.500 GHz[x] – 81.500 GHz||76.000–81.500 GHz|
|2.5 mm||122.250–123.000 GHz|
|2 mm||134.000–141.000 GHz|
|1 mm||241.000–250.000 GHz|
|THF||Sub-mm||Some administrations have authorized spectrum for amateur use in this region;|
others have declined to regulate frequencies above 300 GHz, leaving them available by default.
[w] HF allocation created at the 1979 World Administrative Radio Conference. These are commonly called the "WARC bands".
|See also: Radio spectrum, Electromagnetic spectrum|